President Park Geun-hye on Sunday urged Japan to face up to and sincerely atone for its brutalities during colonial rule as a first step to writing a “new history” with Korea for the next 50 years. In her Independence Movement Day address, she called for the two Koreas to meet to discuss reunions of families displaced by the 1950-53 Korean War, while expanding cooperation in sports, culture, arts and humanitarian areas. 

Cultural diplomacy initiatives around the world ease tensions and strengthen bonds between nations with tumultuous diplomatic relations. 

Music- and art-based outreach programs have been successful in combating extremism in cities like Minneapolis, but they're facing a roadblock. Stringent visa standards from the State Department are blocking many foreign artists from entering the country, and harming communities that need these programs the most.

Over 100 British artists announced on Friday that they are launching a cultural boycott of Israel, along with hundreds of others who have also signed up to the initiative.  (...) According to the letter, this includes accepting professional invitations to Israel or funding from any institutions linked to the Israeli government.

Another major voice in Pakistan questioning the national narratives has been that of the Ajoka Theatre group. Ajoka (meaning “dawn of a new day” in Punjabi) gave three performances in Washington, D.C., this past weekend, presented by the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and the Department of Performing Arts at Georgetown University. These performances were part of the laboratory’s two-year Myriad Voices Festival that aims to expand awareness and understanding about Muslim societies through the performing arts.

Last month China’s president Xi Jinping presented his pragmatic vision for China’s arts and creative industries. (...)Whereas his predecessor Hu Jintao saw culture as a means to boost China’s global prestige and soft power, Xi is as concerned with shaping China’s hearts and minds.

Twitter. Facebook. E-mail blasts. Such phenomena may be a boon to Information Age theaters seeking publicity. But will cyber-marketing ever attain the level of high art, as a much older marketing medium — the theater poster — has frequently done? 

Xi’s Maoist vision for control over Chinese art is at odds with China’s quest to expand its cultural influence abroad.